Background: To evaluate a consistent association between jobs in "electric" occupations and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a comprehensive job exposure matrix (JEM) that includes electric shocks and magnetic fields (MF) is needed.
Methods: We used incident electric shocks and electrocutions from two available data sources along with expert judgment to create a JEM that was integrated into an existing MF JEM. The final JEM contained ordinal electric-shock exposure assignments for 501 job titles.
Results: Main occupational groups experiencing the electric shocks were precision production, craft, and repair occupations. Specific jobs with the highest proportion of shocks per 100,000 workers were: electrical apprentices (99.7), mechanic and repairer helpers (74.0), hoist and winch operators (63.3), and electrical power installers (52.4). Examples of job titles with low electric-shock exposures were administrative support occupations, data-key entry operators, and waiters and waitresses.
Conclusions: Combining publicly available data with an expert panel is a viable method to construct an electric-shock MF JEM. This JEM will allow an evaluation of association between electric shocks and neurodegenerative diseases.
Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.